Sunday, October 18, 2009

Speech Delayed

Wow!  I'm still feeling like someone's slapped me.  I was having a Pity Party the other day, and I should have known better than to whine. Because that’s when Life drops off a load of bricks right…on…your…foot!

Hubby greeted me at work with the Baby in tow (we trade off in the afternoon; he works second shift). The Baby had had his 20 month checkup, so I was expecting the regular lowdown. Instead, I spied with my little eye a phone number on what looked like the doctor’s notepaper. It was a phone number, for Early Intervention. While the Baby is on target or ahead of almost everything, the one area he is not ahead in is speech.

The Baby’s rather traumatic birth at thirty-seven weeks left me worrying that something would be wrong from the start. I can’t explain it. I just knew something was wrong. When he started to crawl, I was thrilled. When he started to walk, I was overjoyed. When he started to say “Dada” and “Mama”, I thought, okay, we’re on the road. But still, with the Middle Child not being diagnosed with dyslexia until halfway through first grade, I never entertained the thought that we were free and clear.

Now this. I was concerned that the Baby, unlike my other two who were in full-time daycare from infancy, would fall short in some of the areas where constant exposure to kids the same age pays off. The Middle Child hadn’t talked as early as the Oldest, but part of it was that he had an older brother who translated, but I also had a daycare teacher who told me he was on track. The Baby makes sounds, some more coherent than others, but very few real words. I had mentioned to Hubby that our gym has a preschool and a babysitting room, where the Baby could play with other kids, quite a few months ago; the Baby’s temper is pretty strong, and I thought socializing might help. There’s also the library, and the town’s center for children, all with morning programs for toddlers. But there were a million reasons why he couldn’t do any of those things. Now there isn’t the choice; he’s going to have to work out a schedule and make the commitment.  I'll try to schedule the speech therapists for the afternoon when I'm home.

Keep your fingers crossed. And if you’ve had experience with Early Intervention for speech delays in toddlers, PLEASE – I want to hear about the good, the bad, and the ugly. I need to hear about it. I function best when I’ve researched a situation and can ask questions. Help!


Tricia said...

I have worked with speech therapists for years, all at elementary school level. I have found each and every one to be HIGHLY professional and extremely insightful with every student and parent. Ask them everything and they will be honest...Hope this helped.

WorkingMom said...

Tricia, thanks for the advice, and for responding. Much appreciated!

evenshine said...

Though I don't have any kids in therapy, it's been a growing concern of mine as my 18-month-old continues to be preverbal. As a linguist I deal with adult learners, but speech therapy is out of my jurisdiction. I will say that if you're able, get a private therapist (i.e., not from a school). The ones in schools are frequently saddled with all the LD kids, as well as the behavioral issues, and have little time for all of them.
Good luck!

Two Normal Moms said...

I have no personal experience, but do have a stepbrother with a son who I was quite sure would enter kindergarten without speaking clearly. He had very few words in his vocabulary when he turned 4, and what few he did have you couldn't understand for anything. They did work with a therapist and he started kindergarten just fine. The last time I was around him (we don't see them often) he talked non-stop! So I can only offer encouragement - stay positive!

Tricia said...

I do have to agree with evenshine re: school therapists being very busy. Add onto her list parent meetings,which can go on for hours, and a jam packed caseload, usually seeing 3-4 kids in a group. Paying privately is an option, but expensive. I would GUESS around $60/hour.